News & Media

Spectra Group (UK) wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise

April 23, 2019


Communications specialists, Spectra Group (UK), have received the highly prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for their innovative system, SlingShot®.

SlingShot is a small, low powered and lightweight system that delivers game-changing capabilities to existing military and first responder radio networks.  When connected to military or commercial UHF/VHF radios, Slingshot extends their range from Line of Sight to Beyond Line of Sight covering thousands of mile radius by utilising  the Inmarsat I-4 commercial satellite network L-TAC Service.  The system works by simply converting UHF or VHF radio frequency signals to the L-Band frequency used by the L-TAC Service and is the only product of its size that enables portable tactical beyond line-of-sight voice and data communications whilst on the move.

SlingShot’s unique capability offers military, emergency and disaster-relief agencies the ability to reliably communicate in remote and harsh environments without the need to rely on existing communications infrastructure or deploy additional communications infrastructure.  It also enables global interoperability between coalition forces and agencies using different radio systems, without the requirement, or need, to swap equipment and receive additional training.

Spectra’s innovation stemmed from a realisation in 2012 that there was a previously unutilised capability of the Inmarsat satellite that would have huge potential in both military and first responder sectors. Working closely with Inmarsat a working concept was developed and approved for use by the British military within weeks and production started in less than 9 months.

SlingShot is versatile enough to be used in aircraft, vehicles, maritime platforms and dismounted personnel. Spectra has since gone on to successfully market SlingShot globally providing a capability that has proved to be of critical importance and has undoubtedly contributed to the saving of lives.

With strong global sales and increasing recognition of SlingShot’s capabilities within the user community, Spectra Group opened a U.S. office in October 2018 and continue to expand their export footprint.

CEO Simon Davies commented “Working on the design, and building a business, supplying a product that has the ability to revolutionise communications in theatres of operation, not only for soldiers but emergency services and disaster areas is very satisfying.  As a former soldier in the Royal Corp of Signals, knowing that  the equipment we provide enables soldiers and first responders around the world to conduct operations with reliable and robust communications so that when they need to call for assistance, that they communicate, first time every time is  very motivating for me and my team.”

Spectra Group (UK) proud to once again support Britain’s Soldiering On Awards

April 11, 2019


The 2019 Soldiering On Awards, celebrating the achievements of the military community, took place on the 5th of April in London at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge Hotel.  The black-tie gala event was opened by the Awards’ Patron, the Rt Hon Earl Howe PC, Minister of State for Defence and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, and presented by TV personality Carol Vorderman MBE, Honorary Group Captain for the RAF Air Cadets, with former Royal Marine, John-James “JJ” Chalmers.  Soldiering On Awards’ Ambassador for the Arts, Carly Paoli, closed the evening with a performance in recognition of ‘Remembered: There But Not There’, honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War One.

Inspirational throughout, the evening focused on recognising the outstanding accomplishments of those who have served their country, as well as the individuals and groups who work tirelessly to support the Armed Forces Community as a whole.
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd was privileged to once again support the event by sponsoring the Sporting Excellence Award, recognising someone who has overcome their disability or injury to excel in the field of sport.   The remarkable individual who won this Award, presented by Rear Admiral Michael Bath, Naval Secretary, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel) and the Flag Officer Maritime Reserves, was Craig Monaghan.

Craig lost ten men from his company during a tour in Afghanistan, which also left him with a traumatic brain injury and two perforated ear drums.  Following three attempted suicides, Craig hit rock bottom.  Amazingly sport helped him to recover and then go on to support others facing similar challenges. Craig first represented the UK in the Warrior Games, then received international honours as a member of the English Deaf Rugby Team.  He has since helped more than 120 veterans back in to sport with a programme that he runs at Sale Sharks.

Craig said: “To win this award is huge for me. It sums up a journey which is still ongoing; one which has led me from Chicago to Bulgaria competing for England and Great Britain. There have been many people who have helped me along the way, almost too many to thank, so I will mention the pinnacle ones: Help for Heroes, Sport Recovery – they are a no brainer, I wouldn’t have found sport again if it wasn’t for them.  Also, England Rugby for the upmost support and obviously my employers, Sale Sharks, who have been unreal in their support. Thank you everyone!”

Simon Davies, CEO of Spectra group said: “Spectra Group is proud to be supporting the 2019 Soldiering On Awards.  Each year this event proves to be a great opportunity for us to give our thanks to the incredible people and businesses that are serving their country and the Armed Forces Community.  Although I can only present the Sporting Excellence Award to one winner, it is without a doubt that all of this year’s finalists deserve our utmost respect and praise.  We feel truly privileged to be able to hear their incredible stories and be a part of their celebrations.”

Arnold Defense rocket launchers on display at the 2019 Quad-A, Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit

April 8, 2019


Arnold Defense, the St Louis based manufacturer of 2.75-inch rocket launchers, will be at this year’s Quad-A, Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit taking place 14-16 April 2019 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Conference Center, Nashville, TN.

Arnold Defense will be showcasing two rocket launchers at the Summit; the 19-round M261 and their ultra-lightweight LWL-12 rocket launcher weighing in at just over 60 pounds (27 kg) empty.  The M261 will be displayed on a AH-6 Little Bird with CFD International, and the LWL-12 will be with Arnold Defense on stand #1151 and also mounted on a MD969 Combat Attack helicopter, the latest evolution of MDHI’s iconic MD 900/902 series.

Arnold Defense is the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers for military aircraft, vessels and vehicles; they have manufactured more than 1.2 million 2.75-inch (70mm) rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Armed Forces and a number of NATO customers.  They design and manufacture rocket launchers that can be customized for any size, weight, capacity or form factor for platforms in the air, on the ground or at sea.

Arnold’s core products include the 7-round M260 and 19-round M261 commonly used by U.S. Army helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher used by the U.S. Navy; and the 7-round LAU-131 and SUU-25 flare dispenser used by the U.S. Air Force. Their newest product, FLETCHER, is a 4-round laser target designated, ground-based rocket launcher; a unique concept and design that has seen exceptional levels of international interest.

Jim Hager, President and CEO of Arnold Defense said “2019 got off to a great start with the recent announcement of a contract that could be worth up to $74.3 million with the U.S. DoD along with ever-growing international, special operations interest in Arnold’s ground-based rocket launcher, FLETCHER. As recently announced, FLETCHER has just won it’s first order. We are very much looking forward to focusing on our core business at Quad-A; a forum we know well and where we aim to showcase our continued innovation and dedication to providing only the best weapons systems to today’s modern warfighters”.

Meet the Arnold Defense team on stand #1151 where you can see the LWL-12 and where Arnold Defense staff will be on hand to explain their systems to visitors and specific briefings and interviews can be facilitated.

See Arnold Defense’s LWL-12 rocket launcher on the MDHI MD969 at stand #3011, and the M261 on CFD International’s AH-6 Little Bird, both in the aircraft display at stand #1611.

Arnold Defense announces the first order for FLETCHER Laser Guided Rocket Launcher

April 8, 2019


Arnold Defense, the St Louis based manufacturer of 2.75-inch rocket launchers, is pleased to announce receipt of the first order for their unique FLETCHER Land Based, Laser Guided Rocket Launcher. The FLETCHER 2.75-inch/70mm weapon system was first unveiled just 18 months ago at DSEi in London.  Since the launch, FLETCHER has been showcased at a number of international exhibitions, generating exceptional levels of interest whilst Arnold Defense have continued with an ongoing development and investment program to broaden and prove the system’s already revolutionary capability.

With FLETCHER, Arnold Defense has made a bold departure from the traditional concept of use for 2.75-inch rocket systems; that of an area suppression weapon delivered by aviation assets.  Arnold’s evolution has FLETCHER using advanced rocket-guidance technology to utilize ground-based launch platforms, meeting the demands of modern, vehicle-mounted and dismounted asymmetric warfare.

FLETCHER’s unique design allows for ease of operation, maintenance and sustainment.  It employs an existing suite of guidance modules, rockets and warheads, already used in well-known programs and readily available to global forces.  FLETCHER is supported by a team of global defense industry companies, collaborating under Arnold Defense’s leadership to combine their complimentary expertise.

The first customer for the FLETCHER system, who cannot yet be disclosed, has committed to purchasing FLETCHER due to the system’s ability to accurately engage targets at a range of over 5km, with a 100% hit rate in recent test-firings.   This first order is for an initial batch of launchers, with a larger order expected to follow once successful user trials and demonstrations have been completed.

Mike Brown, Vice President and COO of Arnold Defense said, “Given that the FLETCHER concept was unveiled to the public only 18 months ago, Arnold Defense is delighted to have signed what we anticipate to be the first of many contracts for the supremely capable FLETCHER surface-based rocket launcher.” He added, “FLETCHER has generated huge interest globally with its unique capability to deliver organic, long-range precision firepower to even the smallest tactical element.  It is great to see serious international interest now developing into firm orders.”

Alcon specialist calipers on display with AxleTech at Bauma 2019

April 7, 2019


Image: Alcon CIR55 caliper fitted to an AxleTech hub.

Alcon Components Ltd, acclaimed global specialist brake and clutch company, will have one of their latest specialist calipers on display with AxleTech at Bauma 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for the construction industry.   This year’s Bauma will be taking place in Munich 8-14 April 2019.

Alcon’s CIR55 caliper was developed in cooperation with AxleTech and is now part of AxleTech`s brake portfolio under the Hydraulic Disc Brake family HD860 series.  AxleTech specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced powertrain systems, axles, brakes and aftermarket parts for heavy-duty commercial and defence vehicles.

The CIR55 caliper is designed and manufactured for specialty applications, heavy-duty vehicles, off-highway and military vehicles. Alcon can provide solutions for axles ranging from 2000 kg to 12,000 kg capacity.  The CIR55 significantly increases braking performance and reduces both weight and cost in comparison to existing alternatives.  Intended as a direct alternative to a standard twin-caliper arrangement, the CIR55 features a custom designed eight-piston, four-pad configuration with an option for either 60mm or 64mm diameter pistons. The caliper can be used on disc diameters of 400mm to 410mm and the centre split design allows caliper variants to be available for a variety of disc thicknesses. The fully hanging, high friction pads are fitted with an anti-rattle system and the caliper and seals are protected to cope with the harshest of operating environments.

Already fully established internationally within the elite motorsports and defence sectors, where nothing short of the highest standards in quality, performance and robustness are accepted, Alcon’s products and services are prime for take-up within the construction and off-highway industry.  Specialists in working closely with end users to meet unique and individual requirements, Alcon are ideally placed to develop braking solutions with specialist axle manufacturers, such as AxleTech, and wider OEMs within the off-highway sectors worldwide.

Jonathan Edwards, Sales Director at Alcon said: “In partnership with AxleTech, we can currently offer the global specialist vehicle market state of the art, production ready braking solutions for heavy platforms, saving weight and improving performance”. He added: “Our development and production ethos is such that we thrive in specialist environments, whilst our extensive automotive and defence production experience allows us to deliver quality and value for money globally. We believe that Alcon braking solutions have great potential for wide utility within the off-highway specialist vehicle sectors and look forward to further exploring these opportunities at Bauma 2019”.

Visitors to Bauma 2019 exhibition will be able to view the Alcon CIR55/AxleTech HD860 brake among AxleTech’s products in Hall A3, Booth 419.  Alcon staff will be in attendance and will be available for meetings and interviews, on appointment.